Cliff Collapse Kills Digger Driver

KARANGASEM

A DIGGER driver at a Karagasem quarry died on Sunday after a cliff collapsed, burying him under 10 metres of rubble.

Ketut Rusdana, 45, from Sebudi Village was using the machine to move material at the quarry when the accident happened. Police believe the collapse occurred after recent heavy rain had made the cliffs surrounding the quarry unstable. Several other workers had narrow escapes from the falling rubble.

Due to the depth at which Rusdana and his machine were buried, it took police, quarry workers and local villagers around three hours to dig him out, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the immediate cause of death is likely to have been a severe head injury.

Syamsul Hayat of Karangasem Police said on Sunday that negligence was the probable cause of the accident.

“Given the condition of the cliff, workers ought to have been careful. We’ve checked a number of eyewitnesses and the incident could probably be considered a workplace accident,” Hayat said, adding that police were investigating.

The Sebudi quarry was the scene of another recent fatal accident when falling rocks killed a truck driver.

Firearm Found on Foreign Boat

BENOA

POLICE and harbour officials at Benoa impounded a British-registered boat after an illegal firearm was found onboard.

According to sources at the harbour, quoted by local media, an American-made Mossberg rifle and 50 bullets were seized by police following a standard customs inspection after the boat docked last Friday afternoon.

Police have not yet revealed the identities or nationalities of those arrested.

Police spokesman I Gusti Putu Ayu said on Sunday that investigations were ongoing.

“If this is proven, then it will be a transnational crime, as the indications are that the people involved are of various nationalities,” he said.

Drugs Activist Dies

MENGWI

The coordinator of the charity IKON Bali, which worked for the rights and rehabilitation of drug users on the island, I Gusti Ngurah Wahyunda, died at Sanglah Hospital, Denpasar, on Friday.

The 31-year-old activist, himself a former drug addict, is thought to have died of complications from tuberculosis.

Wahyunda was the main leader of IKON and was instrumental in its work to build solidarity amongst recovering drug users and HIV sufferers in Bali, and to campaign for their human rights, pressing courts to order rehabilitation rather than jail time for convicted users.

The organisation also works with other NGOs on healthcare and needle exchange projects for addicts.

Wahyunda’s cremation was held at his home village of Denkayu Delodan, Mengwi, on Sunday, and was attended by many members of the IKON community.

Gung Kik, a former drug addict who attended the funeral, said that Wahyunda’s work had made him a role model for other recovering drug users.

“Through his actions and his life he made me believe that no matter how many times we fell down we would have the power to stand up again,” he said.
Wahyunda is survived by an 11-year-old son.

Illegal Arak Seized

DENPASAR

FOLLOWING the deaths of two men who drank tainted home-brewed arak (rice wine) last week, police raided several retail premises in South Bali on Friday and seized quantities of illegal alcohol.

The men who died – and around two dozen others who were hospitalised – had bought arak in Klungkung regency, but as part of an island-wide response police in Denpasar and Badung also acted against vendors of traditional alcohol.

On Friday evening officers raided a shop belonging to Nengah Puriantini, 38, on Jl Kenyeri, Denpasar.

“There we seized a jerry can filled with 15 litres of arak made without a license,” a police spokesman said.

A later raid was conducted at another shop on the same street belonging to 32-year-old Wayan Artana. Eleven mineral water bottles filled with illegally brewed arak were seized.

Meanwhile another shop in Abiansemal Village, Badung, was raided and a further two litres of homebrewed arak seized. The shop belonged to I Nyoman Alit, 30.

All three vendors were arrested and the alcohol held as evidence.

Bird-brained Burglar

BADUNG

A JEWELLERY thief surprised by the owners of the Badung house he had just burgled as he was making his getaway on Saturday escaped after telling them that he had been in the building looking for a missing caged bird. The man was later caught by police.

Ketut Agus Adi Putra, a 19-year-old student from Abiansemal, broke into the house belonging to AA Yudi Arnawa, 53, and AA Dewi Indrayati, 50, close to his own home in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The owners were absent at the time, but returned as Putra was leaving. According to a police spokesman the couple were suspicious, but were initially convinced by the intruder’s story.

“Actually the perpetrator stole from the house while it was empty, but as he was leaving he ran into the owners. He pretended to be looking for a bird that had escaped. But once they’d checked inside they found all their jewellery had been stolen and they immediately suspected the perpetrator and reported to the police,” the spokesman said.

Gold rings and necklaces and sapphires with an estimated value of Rp123.5 million (US$13,460) were taken during the robbery. Putra was arrested later that day and remains in police custody.

The Bali Times

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